The Father/Son relationship has 4 main parts in the novel Things Fall Apart. The first relationship is Okonkwo and his father, and second is Okonkwo and his son Nwoye, the third is Okonkwo and his daughter Ezinma and the fourth of Okonkwo and Ikemefuna. These are 4 very different relationships, where Okonkwo had to act older than his father when he was younger, but his son Nwoye is seen in his fathers eyes as imperfect because his father has such high standards, do to his childhood. Ezinma is the “son” that Okonkwo never had. The last relationship is Okonkwo and Ikemefuna, a boy from a neighboring village. Okonkwo’s father, Unoka,  was lazy, improvident and immature. He was always spent the money he made by buying gourds of wine. He owned every one of his neighbors some amount of money and was always in debt. When Unoka was younger he was a great kid but as an adult he was seen as a failure. He was poor and his wife and children never ate enough, and his debt that kept stock piling up never helped. He didn’t act like a parent meaning that Okonkwo had to step up as the father figure for his mother and his siblings. This left Okonkwo to grow up feeling that comfort was a weakness, but it also showed him that he never wanted to be like his father and put his family in that situation. Because Okonkwos father was so lazy, Okonkwo did not grow up like the other village kids. But despite his fathers poor choices Okonkwo got a job with one of the villages wealthiest men and worked on his farm to earn his first seed yams. Another relationship is Okonkwo and his own son Nwoye. Okonkwo put a lot of pressure on his son Nwoye, because he had such high standards. Unfortunately Nwoye was already causing Okonkwo anxiety because he was so lazy in his fathers eyes. But Nwoye was trying hard and he knew that he had to and wanted to correct his father. Also in Okonkwos family was  Ezinma was loved dearly by her father, Okonkwo, because she was the perfect “son”  in  his eyes. He may have wished that Ezinma was a boy but he never regretted that she was a girl either. She was the only one of his children that understood all of his moods and u defatted everything that he was feeling or trying to say, and a bond between the both of them had grown over the 7 years of their family’s exile to Okonkwos motherland. Ikemefuna is a boy from a neighboring village that was sent over with a virgin girl as an exchange for a Udo’s wife who was  murdered by a man in Mbaino. When Okonkwo brought back Ikemefuna and the Virgin girl he was left to look after Ikemefuna. For 3 years Ikemefuna lived in Okonkwos house. Okonkwo rules his house strictly. He didn’t mean to seem so rude, but he spent his whole life in fear, fear of failing like his father and having a weakness like his father. Ikemefuna was brought home by Okonkwo and handed off to his senior wife, and he told her to look after him. Ikemefuna was very scared because he did not chose to go to Umuofia, but he had to because it was his father that killed Udo’s wife. Ikemefuna was so scared that every so often he tried to run away, he did not know where to go. He lived in Nwoye’s Mother’s hut and she was very kind to him, she treated him like her own child. As time past Nwoye began to like Ikemefuna and even Okonkwo became fond of him. Unfortunately Okonkwo never showed that he liked Ikemefuna because he thought that affection was a sign of weakness. Over time Ikemefuna even started calling Okonkwo ‘Father’. After 3 years the  elders of Umuofia must have forgotten about Ikemefuna living with Okonkwo. Ikemefuna was like an older brother to Nwoye. Nwoye had grown up since Ikemefuna arrived at the village. He was happy to be sent by his mother to do manly tasks for his father, such as splitting wood. Okonkwo was happy with Nwoye’s growth and he had a feeling that it was all thanks to Ikemefuna. Okonkwo wanted Nwoye to grow up and be able to rule his father’s household when he was dead. Because of how much both boys had grown Okonkwo invited both of the boys to sit with him in his hut. Nwoye amd Ikemefuna would listen to Okonkwo’s stories about the tribe and of the past. When Okonkwo was exiled to his Motherland in Mbanta he was greeted by his uncle Uchendu. Uchendu could also be seen as a ‘father figure’ because of how close he and Okonkwo were. Okonkwo told his uncle everything and his uncle was one of the only people, except for Ezinma,  that could understand his expressions and his feelings. Okonkwo always thought that he had to make up for all of his fathers failure when he was an adult and had his own family. He had no respect for his father and thought of him as never being successful and always a wreck. He thought of his fathers life as too Open. He felt that he enjoyed life too much and didn’t focus on his family’s health or well being. He hated that his father was always in debt and never stopped borrowing money. His father would always find a way to borrow more money, but never paid any of it back. Okonkwos attitude towards his father is that he thinks his son Nwoye is growing up just like his father and he doesn’t like that. He hates lazy people and sees many things as a weakness. He beats his son Nwoye because of his laziness and he doesn’t want to be seen like his father and he definitely does not want his son to be like his father, Unoka, when he grows up and has his own family. At the end of the novel Things Fall Apart Okonkwo is finally feeling happy for the first time in a long time. Before Okonkwo left Mbanta after being exiled for 7 years he had been asked a question that was longing in his head, and his answer was…. ” It’s true that a child belongs to its father. But when a father beats his child, it seeks sympathy units Mother’s hut. A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet. But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland.” (Achebe 134).

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